Steve King defends Arpaio: 'I don't agree that profiling is wrong'

Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingCastro forms PAC, boosts five House candidates Man sentenced for throwing glass of water at Steve King Comedians create 'Confederate statue' of Steve King MORE (R-Iowa) on Monday defended former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona, who was convicted of criminal contempt of court for refusing to halt his immigration patrols but pardoned by President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign: Trump and former vice president will have phone call about coronavirus Esper: Military personnel could help treat coronavirus patients 'if push comes to shove' Schumer calls for military official to act as medical equipment czar MORE.

“I don’t agree that profiling is wrong,” King told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “In fact, if you would take profiling away from the tools of law enforcement, you couldn’t describe a criminal in any way whatsoever.”

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King’s comments come hours after Trump defended his decision last week to pardon Arpaio. The former sheriff was convicted last month of contempt for disobeying a court order that he halt his office's racial profiling policies.

“There’s a difference between racial profiling and broader profiling with all of the descriptions that are there,” King argued in the Monday night interview.

“And I say it’s wrong, too, and the Justice Department has issued a directive that says you shall not racially profile if that’s the only component.”